Western Naval Command hosts US Defense Attaché
The Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral YB Wambai, on Monday hosted the United States Defense Attaché, Col. William Schaum, who was on a courtesy visit in company of the Naval Attaché and other team members.
Speaking with newsmen at the end of a closed-door meeting, Col. Schaum expressed delight at being in Lagos for the first time in his position as Defense Attaché, describing the city as beautiful.
He said the visit would afford him the opportunity to interact with the Western Naval Command and be able to hear their concerns and further the existing relationship.
“This is my first time opportunity as Defence Attaché from the United States to be here in Lagos, to see both your beautiful city and the amazing work being done by the Nigerian Navy.
“I am taking this opportunity to meet with the Western Naval Command, to hear their concerns and to continue the great partnership between the United States Defence Department and the Navy in particular, and the Nigerian Navy.
“I look forward to visiting some of the other locations and seeing the great work being done by one of the most professional navies here on the African Continent,” Col. Schaum said.
Also on the team were the Maritime Programme Officer, Lt CDR Danniele Garbarino, and the Director International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Mr. Jason Smith.
Speaking, Admiral Wambai attributed the sustained improved security in the nation’s maritime domain to the dedication, hard work and professionalism of the navy operatives.
He also noted that while the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) delisted Nigeria from the group of piracy-prone nations, the Nigerian navy would continue to do its best to maintain the record of zero piracy in the last six months.
His words: “What you have seen is a combination of dedication, hard work and professionalism. The Navy has strived to attain this and now that we have been able to achieve that, for every naval officer, it is a thing of pride and joy.
“But it also means that we must continue to work harder than what we have done. It is easy to get to the top, but it is quite difficult to maintain it. We have to continue to be more loyal, for us to maintain the status of our county’s delisting from the list of piracy-prone countries.
It is remarkable that the IMB half-year 2022 report show piracy reduction, while the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) also gave high commendations of the achievement.
BIMCO the world’s largest direct-membership organization for ship-owners, charterers, shipbrokers and agents also called for the effective and full deployment of the Deep Blue Assets on Anti-piracy, which is being handled by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA).
Importantly, efforts of the Nigerian Navy in clamping down on pirates camps also received commendations just as the NIMASA Deep Blue Project C4i coastal surveillance and collaboration with international Navies for law enforcement off Nigerian waters.
Other very important platforms created in the fight against piracy in the region are the series of meetings under the umbrella of the Gulf of Guinea maritime coordination Forum, the Shared Awareness and De-confliction ( GoG/SHADE).